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APH Accountants COVID-19 Business Support Update 23/03/20

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I hope everyone is managing to keep safe and well. We’ve had many many phone calls, emails and messages today and hopefully we have answered everyone’s concerns and queries where possible. If you need to speak with one of us, then my team are yours, just contact them and they’ll do whatever they can for you.
Despite the dire circumstances it’s been great to have caught up with a few of you today. Big shout out to all clients who are on the ball and being pro-active and positive in trying to ensure business continuity where possible
We are doing our level best to ensure we relay information to you as quickly as possible in the dash for the cash.
In an attempt to keep you all as up to date as we can there is some further information laid out in this newsletter with regards toOut contact detailsCovid-19 Business Support Group on WhatsappYour Accounts & RecordsThe Job Retention SchemeCash is KingTime for another coffee or tea break folks! Do read through though as there might be a nugget of info in there for you somewhere.
 Our Contact details
All staff at APH are home working – Our contact details are shown below. Please do call us if you need help or advice with anything. 
APH Accountants Wirral Meet The Team
Office Number: 0151 630 4542    
Email: accounts@aphaccountants.co.uk

Paul White: 0151 556 7247          
Email: paulwhite@aphaccountants.co.uk

Helen White: 0151 556 7241        
Email: helenwhite@aphaccountants.co.uk

Matt Newman: 0151 556 7246     
Email: mattnewman@aphaccountants.co.uk

Carla Ashley: 0151 556 7244       
Email: carlaashley@aphaccountants.co.uk

Kerry Roe: 0151 556 7240           
Email: 

Dave Parry: 0151 556 7245         
Email: 

Danielle Levy: 0151 556 7243      
Email: 

Katy Holmes: 0151 556 7249       
Email: 

Lauri Murphy: 0151 556 7248      
Email: laurimurphy@aphaccountants.co.uk 

 Covid-19 Business Support Group on WhatsappJust on idea I am floating at the moment – a whatsapp group for us all to share business support information. Some clients today have been great in dealing with some issues and could possibly offer informal advise to other clients
If you are interested in this. please whatsapp me on 0759527290 with Covid-19 and I will add you to the group and see if it works or helps.
   Your Accounts & RecordsWhere possible we are kindly requesting that all clients send us their accounts and records in in electronic format.
Please scan in paperwork if possible and we can then deal with your accounts remotely and help us to comply with social distancing and shielding advice.
We are still fully operational remotely and will continue to operate this way for the foreseeable future.The Job Retention SchemeUnder the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. The scheme will be in place for three months initially and all UK businesses are eligible.

The salary subsidy will be paid through a new HMRC system and will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
HMRC is working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.
‘The Chancellor has announced it will be backdated to March 1.
We will be able to follow up with more detail on the implementation of the scheme shortly.

As the new system has just been announced HMRC is working out the details as fast as possible.’
HMRC will have to create a new IT software system to run the scheme. This will take until April to complete as it requires a brand new system to reverse pay staff normally paid under PAYE rules.
Even in the face of this unprecedented global Covid-19 crisis, there will have to be tight controls of the job subsidy to avoid abuse by unscrupulous employers who could see it as a way to simply lay off staff with no intention of rehiring them and creating ghost staff. 
There is insufficient detail available at the moment to ascertain what kind of controls will be in place to monitor abuse of the system.

It is also not clear whether directors and shareholders of owner managed companies can put themselves ‘on furlough’, or how it affects zero hours workers.

Many businesses were subjected to enforced closure on Friday [20/03/2020] and announcement of this scheme would seem to come hand in hand with that.
‘While it is not compulsory to use this scheme, it can serve as an alternative to a lay-off situation while helping both employees and workers to cover the many costs that are arising as a result of the outbreak. There are also no restrictions to be put into place; businesses of all shapes and sizes will be able to benefit from this.
‘It is not clear how many workers this will extend to yet, such as atypical workers and those on zero-hour contracts. That said, the government is currently indicating this scheme will cover as broad a group as possible. It is highly likely that many zero-hour workers are to be affected by the closures. However, it may be worth waiting for confirmation for the government before pursuing this option for individuals who fall into that category.’   Cash is KingFocus on cash. 
Don’t worry about profits, turnover, any other measure that might have been important in the past, only cash matters now.  Look for every opportunity to retain cash within the business; to maximise incoming cash and to reduce / defer outgoings.

Analyse all your outgoings – what’s essential for the continued survival of the business, what isn’t?  Reduce, defer or cut entirely the latter, including your own remuneration. 
When cutting, be brutal, and early, but in a way that when you eventually look back, you won’t be kicking or criticising yourself.  Barter if you can.  Focus your resources where they bring the maximum benefit. Treat this crisis as one that will last at least 3 months.  Produce short term cash flow forecasts and ensure everyone in the business works hard to stick to them

Remember you are not alone.
Everyone is in the same boat.  Try not to feel overwhelmed.  Don’t panic.  Take short steps, small actions, not big leaps.  Talk to and watch what others do in and outside of your sector. 
Take support and ideas for dealing with this crisis from anywhere and everywhere you can, no one has the complete answer.

Don’t let your guard down.
For example, if your staff work from home, ensure you remain protected from hackers – they will be looking to take advantage of any weaknesses now.

Grab all the government support you can get.
HMRC have been told by the government to support companies effected by Covid-19.  A hotline has been set up to ask for a time to pay arrangement.  0800 015 9559.  Use it. 

Stay safe all
Kia Kaha
Paul

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